COVID-19: SUNY Oneonta To Temporarily Close After Outbreak; SUNY Plattsburgh Suspends 43

With more than 100 COVID-19 cases reported on campus, SUNY Oneonta will close for two weeks. 

SUNY Oneonta
SUNY Oneonta Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

The move comes just days after 43 students at SUNY Plattsburgh were suspended for violating COVID guidelines.

Newly named SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said several large several large parties were held last week at SUNY Oneonta.

"Unfortunately because of those larger gatherings, there were several students who were symptomatic of COVID and upon testing we found that 20 were positive for the COVID virus," Malatras said in a conference call with the news media on Sunday, Aug.. 30. 

The SUNY Upstate Medical Team was then sent to SUNY Oneonta, to test the nearly 3,000 or students at Oneonta, starting Friday, Aug. 28.

"We're at about 105 positive tests at SUNY Oneonta, which is about 3 percent of the total student and faculty population that are on campus," Malatras said. "As a result of the increase of tests - the positive tests for COVID - we are going to be closing the SUNY Oneonta campus for two weeks for instruction and we will assess the situation working with the state and local health departments after two weeks."

Five students at SUNY Oneonta have been suspended for holding parties against the college policy. Three campus organizations have also been suspended.

"We're going to be tough not because we want to ruin their fun, but this is a different time and this goes to what other campuses have been doing," Malatras said.

The SUNY Plattsburgh students suspended were partying at a closed park, on Friday night, Aug. 21 without social distancing or wearing face coverings, authorities said.

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